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CSBG Archive

When We First Met #14

Each day in June you’ll get an entry showing you the first appearance of seemingly minor characters, phrases, objects or events that later became notable parts of comic book lore. Not major stuff like “the first appearance of Superman,” but rather, “the first time someone said, ‘Avengers Assemble!'” or “the first appearance of Batman’s giant penny” or “the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth” or “the first time Spider-Man’s face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter.” Stuff like that. Here is an archive of what I’ve featured so far.


It’s an all Doctor Strange edition of When We First Met!! To save on me mentioning the year for each issue, take note of the following….

Strange Tales #110-115 are from 1963
Strange Tales #116-127 are from 1964
Strange Tales #128-139 are from 1965

First time Strange said “By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth!”

Hoggoth is first referred to in Strange Tales #116…

And soon after, in #119, Strange begins working Hoggoth into his exclamations/incantations (note how Dormammu was not really developed into a villain yet)…

In #120, Strange comes SOO close to using the phrase….

Later in #120, he also comes close to the phrase…

For awhile, “hosts of Hoggoth” is the phrase that is used. Like here in #121 (as well as in Strange’s guest appearance in Fantastic Four #27)…

We see a twist on it when Baron Mordo tries to invoke Hoggoth in #125! Strange tells him why such an invocation is in vain…

Finally, in #126, Strange uses the phrase that would become his catch phrase, of sorts, in the future…


First appearance of the Eye of Agamotto

As soon as Doctor Strange debuted in #110, he had an amulet that looks like the Eye of Agamotto…

And in #111, we see it in use and it sure does appear to be the Eye of Agamotto, at least as how we think of it today…

However, he kept just referring to it as his “amulet.” And he said it a lot, too. “I must use my amulet!” “You can’t stop my amulet!” etc. etc.

In #116, Agamotto is referenced for the first time…

But even as the amulet continues to act like the Eye of Agamotto (like in this scene from #120), it is not referred to as such…

In fact, in #125, we are even shown the ACTUAL Eye of Agamotto, and it is not an amulet…

In #127, Strange is given a more poweful amulet…

So you might think, “Oh, so THAT’s when he got the Eye of Agamotto!” But it is still just referred to as an amulet, and in fact, in #128, we see the “actual” Eye of Agamotto once again…

Finally, out of seemingly nowhere, in #135 the amulet has now officially become known as the Eye of Agamotto….

And it has remained as such ever since!

First appearance of the cloak of levitation

Doctor Strange did not wear a cloak in the early issues.

His first cloak (the blue one) debuted in #114…

but it was not until #127 that he replaced it with a new cloak, one that contained the power of levitation!

Here it is in action for the first time in #128…


Feel free to send in ideas for future debuts I should feature here to bcronin@comicbookresources.com!


Most of my exposure to Dr. Strange has come from Bendis’ 7 or 8 year avengers run, (maybe Gaiman’s 1602 but thats not even 616 marvel…) so i’m no specialist but in recent stories i haven’t seen that concept of the Eye coming out of Dr. Strange’s forehead. Which is just weird for me, because reading these stories i can’t stop thinking how cool and absurd it is as a visual element. This is really something i’d love to see used more often.

Travis Pelkie

June 12, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Ah, sweet sweet Ditko artwork. Must…get…Masterworks…volumes!

The other eye later became known as the Orb of Agamotto. I suppose there is nothing wrong with referring to it as an Eye of Agamotto; it does have many of the same properties, and I can only assume Agamotto has several eyes. (Agamotto is dedicated to observing everything, like an even more cosmic Watcher.)

Even after Dormammu was firmly established as a force of Evil, Strange has continued to invoke his name now and then. I assume Dormammu is the sort of demon who shares his power freely, even with those who would normally oppose him. Maybe because invoking his name might gradually encourage magicians to enter his service, unless they carefully guard against such influence, as I assume Strange does. (I do remember one story which clearly said if would be fatal for Strange to call on Dormammu if the enemy he is fighting is working for Dormammu, so I’m sure he must be very carefull every time he uses the name.)

Daniel– Strange as used the Eye on his forehead a lot over the years. I should warn you, though, do not trust anything Bendis says about Agamotto. Everything he wrote about him recently was a complete contradiction of what had been long established. (It’s weird, though, because Bendis has been pretty good with Dr Strange in general.)

I just read the first Marvel Masterworks Dr. Strange (collects like 80% of Ditko’s run) and I was not only impressed by how imaginative the art becomes as the run goes on (climaxing with the appearance of Eternity), but also how awesome a plotter Ditko was. Reading the second Dormamu storyline, it occured to me that the plot I was reading would be right at home in a modern blockbuster film (the Iron Man kind, not the Transformers). The stakes continually escalate, every character has a complete arc, and the final battle pits Dr. Strange hopelessly, in classic Marvel style, against an opponent who has him outclassed in every regard. With a little tweaking to integrate the origin, these books could yield up a bounty for Marvel Studios.

So, you’ve done Alfred and you’ve Jarvis, neither of whom, may I point out, know any kung fu or magic, but when it’s Dr. Strange week, you leave out Wong, the Manservant Supreme, himself? This has to be some kind of mistake.

The Ditko awesomeness is pure magic.

nice always wondered when doctor strange got his mystic weapons like the eye of agomoto and also when he started uttering hoggath name. hope to see a defenders when we met moment soon

Have the comics ever shown the hoary hosts of Hoggoth?

Doesn’t “By the Vishanti!” count as Dr. Strange’s catchphrase?

What about Agamotto’s other eye? You know, the Bloodshot, Half-Blind Eye of Agamotto?

P.S. The dark dimensions sure use a lot of English-language alliteration.

So, you’ve done Alfred and you’ve Jarvis, neither of whom, may I point out, know any kung fu or magic, but when it’s Dr. Strange week, you leave out Wong, the Manservant Supreme, himself? This has to be some kind of mistake.

Wong showed up in the first Doctor Strange story, so there wasn’t a whole lot of curiosity in showing his first appearance as compared to the other stuff (or the butlers previously featured).

Heh, I had no idea the Hoary Hosts expression had taken so long to evolve. But then, I presume that Lee was just making this stuff up as he went along, and it was only later that they congealed into definite concepts.

Mary is correct, the Eye was later renamed The Orb of Agamotto, probably to avoid confusion (it should be noted that ‘orb’ can also be a word for ‘eye’). Fun fact: they’re both entrances to Agamotto’s realm as well, and for some reason, if you use one to get in, you must come out of the other. Odd but cool, like most Dr. Strange stuff! :) (And yes, there are at least Three Eyes of Agamotto, according to one story. Don’t know where the other two are however.)

Note that Strange can fly without the Cloak, and it in turn can fly by itself on command (like a magic carpet.) I thought Cronin was going to point this out.

As for Strange invoking Dormammu: judging from stories I’ve seen over the years, these entities rarely seem worried about who invokes their powers, and in fact may not even be *aware* of who they help all the time. In the Hoggoth example, the Hoary One sure took its time before interfering didn’t he? (Maybe he was visiting his buddy Agamotto :P ) And Mordo probably called on him because he had already used his magic before with no drawbacks. It feels as if the entities are engaged in a kind of contest of “who can come up with the most awesome spell” and on gaining popularity among sorcerers. Hey, even godlike entities need hobbies. ;)

70’s Dr. S were insanely cool. Marvel Premiere gave us Barry Windsor Smith and Gardner Fox . I Know. Right?
Englehart was around and continued in the Good Doctor’s own title. With Frank Brunner art. Later-Gene Colan took over. Brunner cover’s were 70’s state of the art. He didn’t stay around Marvel long, but a Howard the Duck here. A Man Thing there. Ahhh. Marvel in the 70’s.

“Note that Strange can fly without the Cloak”

I noticed that even though Brian called it a “cloak of levitation”, the text of the issue actually says that the Ancient One gave Strange the power of levitation. Actually “powers”; I’m not sure how many kinds of levitation there are, but Strange knows more than one!

I noticed that even though Brian called it a “cloak of levitation”, the text of the issue actually says that the Ancient One gave Strange the power of levitation.

The next issue it specifies that the power is in the cloak.

Doc can levitate without the cloak, but it is not the same as “flying”.
With the cloak, he can fly.

Without, he can levitate, or hover by the power of his own will and energies (rarely seen, but notably in the awesome; DR. STRANGE – DR. DOOM : TRIUMPH & TORMENT graphic novel).

He can (or he used to be able to) use the energies from the EYE of AGAMOTTO to surround people or objects and carry them aloft with him (usually while he was flying under the power of the cloak of levitation).
Whether that means he could have used the eye to move them, or was just rendering them “weightless” or something via the eye is up for debate.
I guess I could check the old Handbook of hardware and Weapons, but I’m sure someone has that info handy.

One other thing… the old BLUE cloak was made into a “minor” less-powerful levitating cloak years later by Roy Thomas (in the pages of the last Dr. Strange ongoing; “Sorcerer Supreme”).
So… there’s that.

“Tamam Shud!”

Oh, and Thanks for the Doc-love, Brian.
I’d say “Strange-love” but that might be a whole different topic. ;-)

If anyone is interested, I had written, several months back, a series of crazily in-depth reviews / articles (ostensibly about New Avengers v2 1-6) but in which I featured a complete history of the Eye of Agamotto (as well as many other “strange-related” stuffs (Agamotto himself, and whatnot).

If you like long, and detailed articles to while away more than just 5 minutes (complete with copious scans and pics) feel free to check it (or them) out.

The Eye of Agamotto-centric one is here:

There are two or three others in that review series, and if you enjoy that one. it shouldn’t be hard for you to find the others – all dated within weeks around that one – or just type “Bendis” in the search tab up top.
(OR… just follow this link:


Keep up the awesomeness Brian.

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